ISBN-10: 1566896657
ISBN-13: 9781566896658
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Publish Date: 03/21/2023
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.50" W, 0.70" H

Indiana, Indiana


Price: $16.95


A mesmerizing, poignant saga of love and loss firmly grounded in the Midwestern landscape by National Book Award finalist Laird Hunt.

On a dark and lovely winter night, Noah Summers sits before a roaring fire, drifting between sleep and recollection, trying to make sense of a lifetime of psychic visions and his family’s tumultuous history on an Indiana farmstead. Decades have passed since Noah first fell in love with Opal, a brilliant but unstable young woman whose penchant for flames separated the couple after just forty-two idyllic days of married life. Despite the challenges they each faced, their love never wavered in the long years that followed, sustained by letters, memories, and the bonds of family.

Indiana, Indiana establishes the world Laird Hunt returned to in National Book Award finalist Zorrie and introduces the character of Zorrie Underwood for the first time. Written in a masterful elegiac style reminiscent of William Faulkner and Marilynne Robinson, Indiana, Indiana is a beautiful and surreal story that illuminates the heart of rural America.

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"Indiana, Indiana is told in a polyphonic delirium, an incantatory whirlwind that disorients us as it strives to deliver Noah from the pain of his separation from Opal. . . . It is a tender, youthful novel, an ode to devotional romantic love that seems almost otherworldly in its innocence and to the quiet gothic landscape of Indiana, as benevolent as it is unsettling." –Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, from the introduction

Praise for Indiana, Indiana

"Laird Hunt is a marvelous writer and a gutsy one–in Indiana, Indiana he offers an intimate reverie of people and place that, for its lyricism, odd humor, and delicacy, evokes the early Ondaatje." –Rikki Ducornet

"As everyone who read The Impossibly knows, Laird Hunt's ability to create a sense of otherworldliness is astonishing. Indiana, Indiana resonates for miles." –Amy Fusselman

"Like the best American writers, Laird Hunt is recasting the American song, lyrically and philosophically. His novels are smart and refreshing and genuinely unusual. He's a seeker, in the best literary sense. He's looking for and finding vivid language and forms, ways to write what he sees and understands about his and our weird, fortunate, and troubled lives and times." –Lynne Tillman

Praise for Zorrie

Finalist, National Book Awards 2021 for Fiction
Kirkus, "Best Books of 2021"
Oprah Daily,
"Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels of 2021"

"A virtuosic portrait of midcentury America itself―physically stalwart, unerringly generous, hopeful that tragedy can be mitigated through faith in land and neighbor alike. . . . This is not fiction as literary uproar. This is a refined realism of the sort Flaubert himself championed, storytelling that accrues detail by lean detail. . . . Hunt's prose is galvanized by powerful questions. Who were those forebears who tilled the land for decades, seemingly without complaint? How did they fashion happiness, or manage soaring passions, in their conformist communities? He re-examines the pastoral with ardent precision. . . . What Hunt ultimately gives us is a pure and shining book, an America where community becomes a 'symphony of souls, ' a sustenance greater than romance or material wealth for those wise enough to join in." New York Times Book Review

"A slim yet profound portrait of the life of an Indiana woman named Zorrie, spanning a humble lifetime shaped by the events of the 20th century." USA Today

"Zorrie is a quiet novel about an ordinary life. And when you're ordinary, you need resilience like Zorrie's to survive in an uncaring world. Laird Hunt's short and affecting novel follows Zorrie Underwood's life from childhood in Depression-era Indiana, when she's orphaned, to early adulthood, when she's left on her own, to an eventual marriage and working life." Oprah Daily

"Through an ordinary life of hard work and simple pleasures, Zorrie comes to learn the real wonder is life itself. A quiet, beautifully done, and memorable novel." Library Journal, starred review

"The National Book Award finalist of a novel packs a whole, absorbing human life into just 161 pages that are polished like jewels." –Scott Simon, NPR

"Quietly effective. [Hunt's] often lyrical prose traces Zorrie's hopes, griefs, loneliness, and resolve with remarkable economy. . . . A touching, tightly woven story from an always impressive author." Kirkus, starred review

"A slight but poignant chronicle of a woman alone―and the grief, historic events and transformations that make her whole. . . . Zorrie is a novel that feels like it lives and breathes, and Hunt's ability to interweave unimaginable beauty with poignant, deep longing makes it an instant American classic." –Bookreporter

"A powerful portrait of longing and community in the American Midwest. . . . Hunt chronicles the events of Zorrie's life with swiftness and precision, [and] a quiet sensitivity rarely seen in American fiction. . . . Zorrie is a poetic reminder of the importance of being a happy presence in other people's memories." BookPage

"Hunt's storytelling flows smoothly, its rhythms unperturbed by preciousness or superfluous detail. Fans of Kent Haruf's Plainsong trilogy will love this subtle tale of rural life." Publishers Weekly

"Hunt celebrates the majesty and depth in a life that may superficially seem undistinguished. . . . With compassion and realism, Hunt recounts Zorrie's story straightforwardly, with setting-appropriate dialogue and an eye for sensory details. . . . A beautifully written ode to the rural Midwest." Booklist

"Hunt packs Zorrie's whole life in this slim book of fewer than 200 pages, but it doesn't feel short, nor does it feel too long. Zorrie's life may seem simple to some, but it's a rich well of experiences worth exploring. Through loss, grief and tragedy, Hunt's lyrical and intimate novel shows that life is not a sum of its negative experiences but a collection of joyful moments." Shelf Awareness

"A deceptively simple book about the curious forces that shape a life. . . . Hunt's novel reads like poetry, evoking writers like Paul Harding and Marilynne Robinson, and radiates the heat of a beating heart." –Vox

"Courageous and profound." Worcester Telegram

"This is not just a book you are holding in your hands; it is a life. Laird Hunt gives us here the portrait of a woman painted with the finest brush imaginable, while also rendering great historical shifts with bold single strokes. A poignant, unforgettable novel, Zorrie is Hunt at his best." –Hernan Diaz

"With patience, precision and language so clear and generous you feel as if you are being handed a precious and fragile truth, Laird Hunt brings us an indelible portrait of a twentieth-century American woman. Zorrie travels through her years with a straightforward decency that nevertheless does not shield her from harm, heartbreak, yearning, and a hard-won recognition of joy. It takes Hunt only a hundred and fifty pages to take us from one end of Zorrie's life to the other, and yet I closed the book feeling that I had read an epic." –Marisa Silver

"A sweeping, lyrical and profound portrait of a remarkable woman moving through the perils and wonders of 20th-century American life. Zorrie will break your heart with its propulsive beauty, depth and grace." –Mona Awad

"Zorrie is a beautiful novel. It is gentle, yet full of surprises, and Zorrie, the protagonist who loves her farm and Elvis, is a wonderful creation." –Roddy Doyle

"Laird Hunt's Zorrie is compelling from its first page, the prosody like a 'bolt of crinoline and serge and silk.' Zorrie is 'no giant, ' but her life is as full and satisfying as the short novel, fecund with grain and clover, sweetgrass and damp earth, love, loss, and radiant Luna dust. I read it, with great pleasure, in one sitting." –Nafissa Thompson-Spires

"Zorrie lives and breathes, as a character and as a book. In its natural movement, its joys embraced and sorrows faced, it is a moving portrait of one woman's life–and so, by extension, a portrait of all of our lives. Laird Hunt has such a gift for clear and precise language, for conjuring the details that matter; the rhythms of mid-century mid-America are brought into being with subtle power. Eerily lit, at times, by a radium glow, this is a luminous book." –Erica Wagner

Praise for Kind One

Finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award
Winner of the 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

"This compact but reverberant 19th-century tale tracks a circle of hard-luck souls whose collective tears could fill a dry well. . . . Hunt passes the narration among the principle characters in woozily nonlinear fashion, lending a range of textures to this antebellum melodrama." New York Times Book Review

"[Kind One] contains the sort of story that needs to be experienced directly. . . . You should get a hold of a copy and read it for yourself as soon as you can." –Andrew Wille

"There is always a surprise in the voice and in the heart of Laird Hunt's stories–with its echoes of habit caught in a timeless dialect, so we see the world he gives us as if new. 'You hear something like that and it walks out the door with you.'" –Michael Ondaatje

"Laird Hunt's Kind One, about two slave girls who take their white mistress into captivity, is a profound meditation on the sexual and racial subconscious of America. Nothing is sacred here. Savagery begets savagery. Women commit unspeakable violence, wives are complicit in their husband's crimes, slave girls learn to be as cold and brutal as the masters who have raped and whipped them. Of course the center cannot hold. We watch it crumble with breath held, skin tingling, in this gorgeous and terrifying novel." –Danzy Senna

"[Kind One] is as devastating a piece of writing as anything one is likely to find in contemporary literature." –Review of Contemporary Fiction

"Opening with a prologue in the form of an extraordinarily beautiful meditation on loss, Hunt's writing deepens into allegory, symbolism and metaphor, all while spinning forth a dark tale of abuse, incest and corruption reminiscent of Faulkner. . . . Profoundly imaginative, strikingly original, deeply moving." Kirkus, starred review

"An unforgettable tale of the savagery of antebellum America. . . . Hunt deftly maintains an unsettling tone and a compelling narrative that will linger with readers long after the last page." Publishers Weekly

"In Laird Hunt's Kind One, he provocatively examines the complicity of white women in the shame of slavery. . . . The novel reveals how slavery was so pernicious as to make criminals of everyone who owned slaves, and how redemption is rarely a neatly contained process." –Refinery29

"Kind One [is] a rich, piercing novel that follows the profoundly complex and difficult life of young slaves in antebellum Kentucky." Denver Post

"Laird Hunt's Kind One provides readers with a view of a 19th-century dysfunctional family–and it makes anything you see on reality TV look tame." South Bend Tribune

"[A] study in the perpetuation of violence, the lasting impact of abuse, the damage subjugation can inflict on the individual and society, and the potential for redemption through forgiveness." Foreword Reviews

"Hunt has an ear for dialect, and the story itself reads like Faulkner mixed with Raymond Carver, while remaining recognizably Hunt's own. The reckonings that Hunt's characters face, as they do in so many of his novels, will reverberate in the reader's memory long after Kind One." Shelf Awareness

"Laird Hunt's Kind One is a mesmerizing novel of sin and expiation that plumbs the depths of human depravity and despair, yet hints at the possibility of redemption. . . . One that will resonate long after you turn its last page." –Star Tribune

"Kind One is an inventive and purposefully complicated novel, a novel that twists and dives in and out of and through time and the lives of these men and women, a novel that is both a ghostly tribute to and an indemnification of what went before. Laird Hunt has written a masterpiece of haunt, a balanced and jarring book that takes all we know of the south, down to its most innocent elements, down even to the daisies of the fields, and creates their scarred histories anew." –The Rumpus

"In taut, hypnotic chapters that loop forward and back in time, Hunt interweaves dreams, African folktales and elements of Shakespeare to deliver half-seen glimpses of the past, narrated by Ginny and several characters whose lives have intersected in the past." –Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Laird Hunt's novel Kind One is as powerful and dark a novel I have read all year, a book as exquisitely written as it is haunting." –Largehearted Boy

"As I read the book, I found myself frequently having to pause after passages–some gruesome, some hinting at gruesomeness–to catch my breath. . . . Hunt's lovely prose shines a light into some very dark places." Cedar Rapids Gazette

"This is a story of reckoning and redemption and Kind One is told so artfully and so uniquely that the novel is well worth the read." –Roxane Gay, The Rumpus

"Kind One is a major achievement for Hunt. . . . In its study of the perpetuation of violence, it calls to mind Faulkner's structures by way of Albert Camus and the dark dreamscapes of Jean Cocteau." Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[Kind One is] Laird Hunt's haunting meditation on the crushing legacy of slavery in the American South. . . . Yet the book's small acts of kindness and mercy–bright beacons in the night–never go out, shining their faint light on the endurance of the human spirit." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"What puts Kind One firmly in the category of good Southern writing . . . is its quietly gripping language. Hunt is a writer who, to steal a phrase from Allan Gurganus, is 'still loyal at the level of the sentence.'" Oxford American

"[Kind One is] minimal, immersive, and utterly compelling. Hunt never lets the reader get distracted or lets the intensity become diffused. For the real subject here is violence–violence that manifests itself as a Lear-like rage against Life itself." Vertigo

"If you like beautiful sentences, you'll probably enjoy Kind One." The Stranger

"Laird Hunt's fiction lends an ominous tint to the familiar. . . . [His] penchant for the ambiguous, the divergent, and the unsettling can flourish when rooted in American history." Los Angeles Review of Books

"In Hunt's detailed characters and prose (so beautiful as to seem otherworldly), the many folds of human relationships unravel, turn back on themselves, make new shapes, and tell of the bonds, tainted or not, all travelers eventually form while on their ways." Books Matter

"In Laird Hunt's provocative new novel Kind One . . . [Hunt] managed to create a novel that upends what we expect from slavery narratives." Roxane Gay, Bookforum

"Laird Hunt is one of the more criminally overlooked novelists writing today, and this is probably the most accessible and completely realized of his books." Time Out New York

"The voices that gradually reveal the story–of the naive girl who collaborates with her brutal husband–are by turn lyrical and savage, piecing together a nuanced exploration of guilt and forgiveness." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Slavery in the South seems like an exhausted subject, but Laird Hunt's Kind One feels fresh." Green Mountains Review

"An investigation into a dark corner of history, a narrative that splinters and echoes, a structure at once fabular and recursive: all lead us into Laird Hunt's novel Kind One. Hunt's exploration of slavery in the U.S. . . . involves inevitable deconstructions of identity and power, revealing the ways in which each engenders the other in a construction we call history." Quarterly West

"I read Kind One for the first time last November, and when I finished, I was sure of three things: it was a book to read again and again, Hunt was a name I'd scan for in bookstores, and Kind One could be the basis of a fine film." Quarterly Conversation

"'It is risky, ' Hunt says, 'A white man, writing the story of a white woman, embroiled in the world of slavery.' It is perhaps for just that reason that the Boulder author's latest is worth picking up." 5280

"Hunt's skill as a storyteller is staggering. . . . His is some of the most haunting and versatile American work being written today." Something on Paper

"The menace never lets up in this page-turner of a literary novel. . . . I read this book in one sitting, and was left feeling as though I had been swept under in the river of this country's racial history. It has the feel of a classic–something that will be read in history or English classes for years to come, a book that inspires interpretation and reflection. Recommended." –Historical Novel Society

"[Kind One] soars because of Hunt's intensely human characters, which are displayed with complex compassion. The hands which are heavy may change over time, as may the victims, but pain and guilt, and, more precisely, the residual effects of pain and guilt, do not." Small Press Book Review

"Hunt has written an extraordinary work. Kind One plumbs the dark depths and shimmering reaches of spirit through a tapestry of voices with such subtle power that you won't realize how deeply this novel has gotten inside you until it's too late. It will haunt you for the rest of your life." –Mixer Publishing

"I had an intense emotional response to this novel. . . . My attention was enchanted by Hunt's image-rich language." TriQuarterly

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ISBN-10: 1566896657
ISBN-13: 9781566896658
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Publish Date: 03/21/2023
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.50" W, 0.70" H
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